Mercury Lurking in your Home? Recycle Series: Part I brought to you by Microempowering.org
What & Where is Mercury? • Mercury is a liquid metal that is sometimes used in thermometers, thermostats, and fluorescent light bulbs. • While mercury is used in common household items, interacting with it can be harmful to your health.
Dangers of Mercury • Mercury is hazardous if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. • That is why it is a necessity to properly dispose of mercury- containing products. • Improper disposal of products containing mercury can damage waterways and contaminate the air and environment.
Thermometers and Thermostats • To reduce the risk of exposure to mercury, exchange your mercury fever thermometers for digital fever thermometers. • Safer alternatives to mercury thermostats are programmable electronic thermostats. They are also more energy efficient.
Disposal of Thermometers & Thermostats • Mercury thermometers can be disposed of at any special waste drop-off site. • When updating your heating system, ask your contractor to remove and recycle your mercury thermostat or recycle them through the Thermostat Recycling Corporation.
Light Bulbs • Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and fluorescent tubes contain slight traces of mercury. • However, they are safe to use.
Disposal of Light Bulbs • You can drop off CFLs at your local Home Depot, Ikea, or Lowes for recycling. • If you choose to dispose of bulbs in your regular trash, be sure to double bag them to prevent injuries to sanitation workers.
Disposal of Light Bulbs • When disposing of bulbs, handle with care to avoid breakage. • If you break a bulb, follow the Environmental Protection A to ensure your safety.
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